I think Donatello is my favourite artist. It’s a close-run thing with Brunelleschi, but the latter was rather short-tempered, while Donatello sounds much more fun, so I guess he gets the prize by a very short head.
So, I was delighted to learn that another Donatello masterpiece, this time a terracotta Madonna, has been purchased by the Italian State and is now in the Bargello museum’s Donatello Room, where magnificent artworks herald the birth of the Renaissance.
The Madonna of via Pietrapiana¸ originally in a tabernacle on the corner of via Pietrapiana and via de’ Pepi in the centre in Florence, was the only known work by Donatello in private hands and was bought by the Ministry of Culture for an eye-watering €1,200,000!
For some years Donatello was Brunelleschi’s apprentice and he ccompanied him on their celebrated trip to Rome at the turn of the 15th century, where they rediscovered the secrets of classical architecture and sculpture, heralding the birth of the Renaissance
Donatello’s sculptures, in both marble and bronze, were revolutionary, notably his St George for the Orsanmichele in Florence and his irrepressible bronze David, commissioned by Cosimo the Elder. . Both can be seen in the Bargello’s Donatello Room .
My favourite Donatello sculpture is the grizzled Old Testament prophet Habakkuk, who Donatello nicknamed ‘pumpkin head’ and talked to it as if it were alive while he was sculpting. It can be seen in the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo in Florence.
We have named one of the Watermill bedrooms after Donatello. It is cosy and bright and with a terrace with wonderful views over the garden and mountains.
The Donatello bedroom, appropriately enough, is next to the Brunelleschi, his original Master.
All our bedrooms are named after famous Italian artists and whichever one you choose, we’d be delighted to welcome you here for one of our convivial, caring and inspiring creative holiday weeks – painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language.
You can find out more by clicking here.